Brown Sugar Cookies

brown sugar cookie stacksI am a firm believer that any recipe that begins with melted butter ought to be good. It’s a law of nature.

I’ve been hoping to make these delectable Brown Sugar Cookies for a while now. That also seems to be a law of nature. Hoping. Waiting. Dreaming.

Alas, it is winter in Minnesota and it is quite possibly The Longest Winter of My Entire Life. We just received a whopping dollop of snow and I heard on the radio today that we can expect more tonight and tomorrow with “unseasonably cold temps with highs of 15-20 degrees” on Saturday.  *dies*

So, you see, cookies seemed to be an inevitable (and albeit DREADFUL) extension of the winter season here in jolly ol’ Minn-e-snow-ta.

Oh, yea…did I mention today is the first day of Spring?  According to the calendar. According to Mother Nature, as detailed above, it is still full-on WINTER. If you sense any anger or frustration in my tone, your senses are spot on. So, you can see why the Brown Sugar Cookies were baked. Oh.  Also because of the melted butter.  And the sugar. If you too are sick of winter, please join me in the unabashed art of Cookie-Monsteresque Cookie Devouring.

Due to our philosophy of “Go Big or Go Home” this is a double recipe.  Because one can never have too many cookies.

Brown Sugar Cookie Recipe

Adapted from Cookies and Cups

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 sticks (28 tablespoons) salted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350° and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Heat butter in medium skillet over medium heat until melted. When butter melts slowly swirl the pan and continue to cook the butter until it becomes a nice, brown-caramel color. The swirling helps it from burning. Let cool for 15 minutes.
  • Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl and set aside.
  • When butter is cooled mix 2 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 cup sugar, and browned butter with electric mixer until no lumps remain, about 1 minute.
  • Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each one.  Add vanilla and mix until smooth.
  • Slowly add in your flour mixture and mix on medium-low until incorporated.
  • Combine remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl.
  • Roll cookie dough into balls and then roll in sugar mixture.
  • Place on lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake approx 10-12 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Do not over-bake.
  • Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Almond Meltaway Cookies

Almond Meltaway

This weekend I had a sudden spurt of sorting and organizing energy. This rarely happens so I had to take complete advantage of it. Miraculously, it lasted the better part of two days. School was about to begin and it seemed imperative to go through kids clothes and toys, along with the clutter that materializes and reproduces in rapid fashion at our house. By the end of the holiday weekend, I was ready to bake. Apparently, it is what I do best when I am feeling stressed deep down in my subconscious. Baking Coping Mechanism. Did I mention school was about to start? Everyone knows this requires some form of baking. It eases the minds of moms everywhere.

{Please don’t tell my family. They don’t know anything about my subconcious. They just think I like to bake. I was about to have a First Grader and the Kitchen Aid needed to be put to immediate use. You understand.}

I took one look at my Sweet Treats Pinterest board and found the perfect specimen. My love for Almond Extract was laid bare in this past post and my love has not waned in the slightest since then. I knew this was The One to calm my back to school jitters. Plus, the ingredients are all basic pantry essentials. This saved me the usual trip to the store that inevitably occurs when I set about to make something and am missing that one key ingredient. Yahoo!

I think the best outcome of this baking adventure is that our whole entire family LOVES these babies. {Plus, they made me forget, if only for a little while, that I was about to be the mom of a First Grader.} They are a very close sibling to the Kringler we make every Christmas. Which is the most beloved thing I can ever consume in this lifetime.

So, without further ado, I present to you…The Almond Meltaway Cookie.

Almond Meltaway Cookies

Yield: 32 Cookies

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon flaked sea salt (or can use regular table salt)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons almond extract

Icing: 1 cup powdered sugar 1 tablespoon milk (or water) 2 teaspoons almond extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and almond extract, mixing until combined. Add flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until completely combined.

Roll 1 tablespoon of dough into small circles and then press with hands (or with the bottom of a cup) into a disk shape. Place on prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 8 minutes. The cookies will not look browned or cooked, but they are! Remove from oven and let cookies rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To Ice:

In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, milk and almond extract – until smooth.

Using a spoon, smooth icing onto the top of each cookie and let set for 10 minutes, or until hardened. Store in the fridge, let come to room temperature when ready to serve.

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In case you needed further convincing…

Here is a close up and the Almond Meltaway Cookies – Printable Recipe.

Almond Meltaway

Special thanks to Jessica at The Novice Chef for her brilliant and generous sharing of this divine recipe. I can’t believe I am saying this but if you are not a fan of Almond Extract {gasp!} you could substitute the extract of your choice. These cookies are so simple and so delightful and they truly live up to their name.

Enjoy the melt in your mouth goodness! We certainly did.

We have the crumbs and the cookie-filled bellies to prove it.

Oreo Truffles

My Friday morning was filled with the making of wonderful and glorious Oreo Truffles.

Then, I had a very exciting photo shoot with the lovely sweet creations.

First, I have to tell you why it was so exciting.

Since my last post, I had the pleasure of taking part in the Capture Yours workshop offered by Gretchen Ennis Photography & Design and Lisa Sherwood Photography.  I am pleased/thrilled/ecstatic/elated/over-the-moon to report that I was able to take all of my pics in manual mode.  It’s a big deal, folks.  At least for this girl.  A big thank you to Gretchen and Lisa for giving me the final pieces and confidence to raise my camera skills to the next level.

Okay, on to the photos.

First, there were the sugars, sprinkles, jimmies, and nonpareil that would adorn the truffles.

sprinkles

Then, there was the melting of almond bark and dipping of truffles.

No pics of that as it was somewhat tedious and messy.

But once these babies were ready for their shoot – man, did we have a good time.

Pinch me!  Because not only am I of Irish descent, but I love taking pictures of food.  Weird, huh?

(I think it’s weird.)  In my defense, the subjects are amicable and rarely tire out.

As a nod to wee leprechauns and pots of gold, vanilla-coated versions with rainbow sprinkles.

vanilla truffles

These are chocolate dipped with a bit of green icing, in honor of good ol’ St. Patty’s Day.

chocolate truffles

I love the contrast of the vanilla dipped and topped with chocolate jimmies and/or chocolate icing…

More Vanilla

A gorgeous group shot with sea salt topped truffles headlining at the front.

Group Shot

Oh, and maybe you’d like the Oreo Truffles recipe?  Click here for the printable version.

I also strongly believe a close up of the chocolate group never hurt anyone.

chocolate close-up

Of course, with 64 truffles in the house, I felt an incredible need to share.  So, I managed to find some treat bags that were somewhat worthy of the holiday and packaged up these delightful babes to gift.  I had so many because I made a double batch, one with Chocolate Oreo Cookies and one with Golden Oreo Cookies.

If you look really close, you can see a horse-shoe shaped sprinkle that magically transpired during the truffle development.  Hmmm…

truffle gifts

Here’s hoping you had a bit of magic and luck on St. Patty’s Day too –

Cheers!  (or I should say Sláinte!)